Tonight, When the Moo Strikes You

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By Richard Leiby
Washington Post Writer
Thursday, May 5, 2005

For weeks people dressed in cow costumes have descended on Metro stops, bars, malls, the University of Maryland campus and other locales, promoting a Web site called BovineUnite.com, which threatens a bovine revolt against the human race. "Every day, humans chase us with horses, rope us, and milk us for all we're worth," says one communique on the site. "So, we must take action . . . The time has come to rise up and take destiny into our own hooves."

The angry cows even set a date for their uprising: "The plan goes into effect on C-Day, May 5," the site warns. "Tune into the networks between 8:45 and 9 p.m."

That's tonight, hapless humans.

The sophisticated site, which includes videos, games, a blog and many awful puns, has stirred puzzlement on the Internet. It has all the trappings of a corporate buzz-building campaign for an upcoming movie or a big product rollout -- maybe a fast-food operation promoting the consumption of chicken strips over hamburgers.

But could others be behind it? Vegetarians? Animal rights activists? Fans of that classic Blue Oyster Cult "more cowbell" parody on "Saturday Night Live"?

(After guys in cow suits invaded an Annapolis pub recently, handing out cowbells, a bouncer posted on the bovine blog: "I had to deal with drunken frat boys all night yelling, 'This bar needs more cowbell!' ")

The Baltimore Sun last month launched an investigation into the pranks that pointed to several suspects -- including a singer-songwriter named Dana Lyons , whose mid-90s ditty "Cows With Guns" had this call to arms: "We will fight for bovine freedom / And hold our large heads high."

But Lyons denied a link, as did PETA and others. Then the Sun cited speculation in the ad industry that a rather unlikely state bureaucracy was behind the cow stunts: the Maryland Lottery.

Bingo! A source close to the cow campaign confirmed to us yesterday that, yes, it's all a teaser to an ad blitz for that peculiarly human endeavor, gambling. Tonight's lottery commercials will show cows pranking some of the humans who have been pranking them for years. Tag line: "The real winners in life are the ones who have the most fun. Let yourself play."

And it behooves us to say: You herd it here first.

Don Sherwood: On-Message but Off-Massage

ยท Rep. Don Sherwood , the 64-year-old married Republican embroiled in controversy over an incident involving a 29-year-old woman in his apartment last year, has apologized to his family and supporters for causing them "pain and embarrassment." But he did not address his relationship with Cynthia Ore , who claims to have been his lover for six years. Police say Ore called 911 on Sept. 15, alleging that Sherwood began to choke her while giving her a back rub, but she quickly changed her story, saying they were only sipping tea. He denied assaulting Ore but did tell police he gave her a back rub.

In a terse statement issued Tuesday evening, Sherwood said he was "truly sorry" and would "begin the healing process" with his family. "I plan no further comment on this personal matter."


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